DODMERB Consultants

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by JC349, Jul 2, 2018.

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  1. JC349

    JC349 New Member

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    This is to warn the nice folks on this board who are trying to help their son or daughter to avoid DODMERB Consultants which is run by Dr. Glenn Merchant out of Colorado Springs. My wife spoke to this man regarding our son's waiver request. Dr. Merchant seemed very nice and knowledgeable and he had a reputable-looking website. We sent him money and never heard from him again. For over two months now he has not replied to our e-mails or cell phone voicemail. No one picks up his office phone and the mailbox is full. We have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and we noticed that two other parents have done so as well. Please don't give this man your hard-earned money!
     
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  2. Tim5755

    Tim5755 New Member

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    Agree with all comments made above by JC349. We had a very similar experience. Expected more from a retired Navy officer, flyer and Doctor (if those are all true). I tried to see if Dr. Merchant had a medical license in Colorado to practice, but so far have not found one. I am looking into other options to try and regain the money we invested with this person. DO NOT give DODMERB Consultants your money.
     
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  3. JSW1979

    JSW1979 New Member

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    Our family signed up with DoDMerb Consultants in May, 2018 for help with our son's waiver denial. Dr. Merchant was very engaged, friendly and replied to our emails, connected us to a military doctor to evaluate our son's knee. I spent the better part of 5 weeks running all over the place collecting information, getting materials scanned, etc. to send to Dr. Merchant for review. Our son turned down a full scholarship to play football as well as a very lucrative academic scholarship at another university. He has wanted to be in the USAF since he was about 3 years old. Was awarded a tier 2 scholarship and made his decision to attend an out of state school with his desired major and the AFROTC program. He was denied waiver in May for an insignificant knee issue; we sought the services of Dr. Merchant due to recommendation of his services from this site. We fully explained to him that by July 1, our son would lose his academic scholarship at the 2nd choice school and could he get back with us regarding the sufficiency of our materials we gathered for the rebuttal process. My last email from him was on June 17, 2018. We have called, left text and voice messages; mailboxes are all full. Now on the Dodmerb Consultants website, it has the phone number listed as 555-555-5555. We were so concerned that something had happened to him that we emailed his daughter or daughter in law, Brittany Merchant, who was copied on our emails to check on him. Nothing. We have waited all summer to hear from him and it is now one week from the start of school. Our son lost the academic scholarship, and we feel as if we have been scammed. I would like to proceed with the other families who also have had this experience and attempt to get our money back; at least let other families know not to contact them. I am one HOT MAMA right now.
     
  4. JSW1979

    JSW1979 New Member

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    We would like to join you in your process to regain our money. I would also like to know if he indeed was the former head of DodMerb???
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

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    As far as I can tell, with decent certainty, he was. I have never met him; however, about 10 years ago when I was a Flight Surgeon student a CAPT Glenn Merchant from DoDMERB reached out through the school house CO who he was friends with to talk with me. He had seen my posts here and been able to narrow down who I was and wanted to talk about Service Academy medical stuff.

    Was pretty awkward getting called to the principals office thinking something was up only to be told what it really was.

    This was prior to him retiring and I don’t actually recall the details of the conversation at this point. It is disappointing to see everyone’s recent experience and I wish I had kept in contact to better be able to help y’all resolve these issues.
     
  6. TMTNT

    TMTNT Member

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    Count me in too....good start and then dead silence at the most critical time - same MO as JSW1979 above except our waiver is still TBD....right now I have my kid's waiver issue to clear up, but when that gets resolved, I will turn my full attention back to this guy...it sure looks like he is preying on people in very vulnerable, albeit temporary, positions. I, as an optimist, still give him some benefit of the doubt, but if this is the scam it appears to be, he needs to be stopped. The money is one thing, but this goes beyond that....we parents do whatever we can to help our kids get what they deserve and have worked so hard for, and sometimes we trust too much. Nothing wrong with that, but parasites need to be dealt with.
    One side note....there is a Dr. Paul Glenn Merchant Jr showing a practice at the Academy DoDMERB address - too coincidental to be unconnected. It gets fuzzier - Dr. Paul Merchant with a picture that looks eerily like Glenn Merchant with a beard has a Preventative Medical office in Pueblo, Co just south of the AFA. More than enough clues to track this down, including Brittany Merchant as an informational point of contact...
    If Glenn Merchant contacts me and explains this recurring theme and what has happened, I will apologize all over myself, but it is up to him...even he has to admit that the optics are bad.
     
  7. bmlove

    bmlove New Member

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    I have met Dr Merchant as we lived in CoS while DS was in HS and we knew he’d need a couple waivers and wanted help navigating. Our experience was similar to the other posters. He was super friendly and knowledgeable in the beginning. We even sat down in his living room and went over DS’s entire medical file. He made some verbal recommendations for how to answer the DoDMERB questions and what information to provide and how to caveat stuff. Then when it came time to actually do the rebuttals we got nothing and couldn’t even get him to send us the medical files we had had sent to him from several other medical specialists. We were livid. Same thing, full voicemail boxes, no email returned, nothing. The one time we did hear back he ranted to me about how busy he was with his real job at the Pueblo Chemical depot and that he just didn’t have time to help us ....fine give 100% to your GS job but then don’t take $$ for consulting work on the side!!! I can confirm he did run DoDMERB and does work in preventative medicine down in Pueblo (at least that’s what he personally told me). I honestly though we did something to offend him because he went from being extremely gracious and friendly and spending 2 hrs with us in his freakin living room and talking with my son to falling off the radar
     
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  8. TMTNT

    TMTNT Member

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    Just got word that BUMED has granted my DS his waiver....so it was all done with absolutely no help from Merchant. (That is immaterial -I just wanted to type it!) My concern is that I don't want any other parents/candidates to get taken down the rathole dealing with this guy and his BS. DO NOT CONTRACT WITH HIM!! I will post progress up to and including legal action. Somehow, with his background and credentials, he thinks this is acceptable behavior. I would think that military pride would prevent it, but obviously not the case....
     
  9. NROTC123

    NROTC123 Member

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    How long did waiver take without the help
     
  10. TMTNT

    TMTNT Member

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    After the DQ was administratively lost in space for a couple months, it took 6.5 long weeks. One thing that helped was writing to the DoDMERB branch that notified you and asking for a POC who could be pulsed for status. She advised us of the case number and asked us to ping her after 6-8 weeks. We did that this morning now that the DoDMERB website is back up and her first word was "congratulations"...best e-mail ever.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  11. TMTNT

    TMTNT Member

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    One thing I have learned on here among many things is that the folks on this board are very smart....to that end, other than my scorched earth plan to get my family's money back from Merchant, there are probably much more effective ways to get retribution in this case. Any ideas you have would be most welcome by me and I am sure by all the other victims on this thread. There are also no doubt others who just have been bitten who haven't posted on here. Just the fact that he reflects elements of the military and medical fields and turns around to advantage of people in need should tick a lot of us off and want to prevent any further occurrences. Of course, if Merchant himself came on here with a credible explanation, I think I could fade away and focus back on the future and the great things it holds for my kid....but until he does, please stay far away from him and his "company".
     
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  12. Humey

    Humey Member

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    The starting point would be to hire an attorney and have them write a letter demanding a refund for non service and threaten a lawsuit. In many cases, this is all you need. If you want to proceed with a lawsuit or not, , that is up to you. If he is still a doctor, the last think he needs is his malpractice insurance to go up. Dont know what he charges for his services, but my guess is that it would probably wind up going to small claims court and therefore the legal fees would be minimal as their is no lawyer. In California, i think small claims is under 5000
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    Better Business Bureau complaint?
     
  14. kgbpost

    kgbpost Member

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    I will say Glenn was pleasant and helpful but became more and more difficult to contact as time went on. I retained him preemptively to discuss wording on the medical submission regarding some past injuries and how to report them. DD was subsequently cleared...however I have attempted to contact him several times since to get her medical records returned with no success. Some were sent to him directly from Doctors offices so I have no copies which I would like to have.
     
  15. zoomie81

    zoomie81 New Member

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    I'm really shocked to read this thread. We contracted with Dr. Merchant last year, and he was very professional in working with us. We spoke on the phone to discuss my son's case, and he responded to multiple emails in a timely manner. I don't know how old he was, but I had read on these forums (where I first learned of him) that he was retired from DoDMERB and assumed he was elderly.

    If I were in your shoes, I too would be absolutely livid. And I too would want to pursue some kind of recourse. Having had such a seamless experience with him though, I am having a hard time believing he is a con man. Is it possible that something tragic might have happened or that he suddenly fell ill? If so, maybe his family does not know how to deal with his business? Or another thought, could he have run into legal issues with his business and had to go dark?

    I'm certainly not defending his actions (or lack thereof), I just can't correlate the man we dealt with and these horrible experiences. I hope it all works out for your sons and daughters!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  16. New@This

    New@This Member

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    We have contracted with Dr. Merchant for both of our sons - ROTC and prep school. Our experience was actually positive and we found him helpful. Now, admittedly, he doesn’t always answer his email quickly. Last year he was out of the country for several weeks and was unreachable. Perhaps there is a similar current situation. We last corresponded with Dr. Merchant the last week of June.

    I’m not defending his lack of response to those who are frustrated. I did find that the matters that were urgent usually received a prompt response. We had a couple of unusual medical issues in my kids’ history and we found his help in the preliminary stages of reviewing their records and consulting on the original DODMERB forms to be worth every penny we paid.

    DODMERB seems to be a paperwork minefield that can be disastrous at worst or complicated at best. Those who enter unsuspecting can make mistakes on the forms that cause tons of additional paperwork on the back end. Kids just don’t have a complete view of their history. “Have you ever had radiology therapy?” Kid answers “yes” because he had an X-ray in his sophomore year after a football injury. That’s not what the question is asking but a 17 yo kid doesn’t even know when to ask questions. And the fact that answers to questions can not be changed from yes to no is absurd. But that is a rant for another day and another thread. Good luck navigating the minefield.
     
  17. TMTNT

    TMTNT Member

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    New@This - absolutely understand your response....I am sure that there have been good and bad experiences with Merchant. But this is such a critical period of time - right before school starts - tens of thousands of dollars ride on the subtle workings of DoDMERB and hiring an expert to navigate this "minefield" would appear prudent. In my business, it is called engaging a subject matter expert. My early experience with him mirrors others - very pleasant, informed and concerned, but then he vanished when we needed him most - to live up to his promise to contact our doctors and to give us templates for response letters. When you are a consultant for anything and your comm is 100% on-line, you can't just disappear - hell, just keep your website up to date if there are circumstances or you leave the country - that is being professional. He has not been professional. To restate, we have successfully moved on - I only want to get our rotten experience out there so new folks don't walk into the same thing. College is expensive no matter what - most can't afford to throw money down a hole.
     
  18. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Interesting thread -- I clicked on it expecting to see the normal questions about whether hiring a Consultant is worthwhile or necessary, and the normal back and forth about 1) how Dr. Merchant helped DS/DD , or 2) whether its necessary to hire someone like Dr. Merchant to navigate the DODMERB process. If you look at the past threads, it seemed that Dr. Merchant had a pretty favorable reputation.

    I don't know the man, and not going to defend his lack of responsiveness. His business is very similar to that of a lawyer, and I have learned over the years that one of the common reasons that very good lawyers aren't responsive is when they have nothing to report or are waiting for instruction from their client. In Dr. Merchant's case, he may be waiting for a response from the Client's doctors , who themselves may be (or are likely to be) less than diligent when they get a request from another Doctor asking to review their records. No professional likes the idea of one of their peers looking over their shoulders and second guessing them, so if you do engage a consultant like this, you should make sure you tell your local Doctors what's going on, and ask them for their prompt cooperation. Again, I'm not trying to excuse Dr. Merchant's lack of responsiveness-- even if he has nothing to report, a simple phone call or email often goes a long way in keeping clients happy.

    Now a reality check for those eager to jump on the bandwagon and sue Dr. Merchant. Lawyers cost money, and litigation takes time and money. I don't know how much Dr Merchant charges for his services, but I suspect that it is far less than the cost of even a small claims lawsuit. I can already hear some saying , "Well, its a matter of principle..."and my answer is the same as I tell clients all the time, "There is nothing a lawyer likes more than a Client with principle ....and money." Bottom line, if you have to resort to filing suit , the only winner will be the lawyer.

    What should you do ? If you have an issue with Dr. Merchant, I would encourage you to reach out to him and send a link to this thread by email. I wouldn't be surprised if he receives a fair amount of his referrals from this Forum, and if he is aware of the degree of dissatisfaction, I would expect he will respond accordingly. Assuming of course he has plans to stay in this business, his reputation is important and this Forum is probably pretty influential.

    Good luck.
     
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  19. RobertGDog

    RobertGDog New Member

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    This is worrisome. We contacted Dr. Merchant a while back and decided to hire him if our DS made it to candidate status. Our DS is now a candidate and he is completing his application for the SA's and ROTC scholarships. We are pretty sure he will need a waiver and now we don't know where to turn. Is there another resource to help navigate DOD MERB and the waiver process?
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    DODMERB has a help line that many say is actually helpful. USNA (and I presume the other SAs) has someone dedicated to medical issues. Most people are able to navigate the process themselves, using the "official" channels. The fact is some people have conditions that -- regardless of who is involved -- will DQ them from military service. For others, it's generally about providing the info DODMERB requests.
     
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